Kabira, 3rd day

Four levels of story from today. One, absolutely, utterly unforeseen by my small imagination, is that in this short time the volunteers with us on this trip have actually built a two level dormitory/office area for the Drugfighters School in Kabira. The floor for the second floor went in today, the walls went up, and the roof will go on tomorrow. Today the kids also learned music, planted trees and plants on their tiny plot, and painted newly built classroom furniture of tables and chairs.

Second story from today, our group hired buses for 12 of our group plus almost 100 children to travel to Fourteen Falls, a gorgeous landscape of waterfalls 2 1/2 hours drive away. Some of these children have never been outside of the slum in their whole lives. They have seen pictures of rivers and mountains, but never the actual landscapes. They sang songs on the buses the whole way. They got to the destination, climbed, marveled, smiled and played. At our session tonight some of the volunteers were so moved that they could not speak.

Third, my personal experience of the day was at the school in Kabira. The social worker wanted me to meet with small groups of children to talk in intimate sessions about what is on their minds, an experience utterly rare to them. One little girl named Esther whose mother has aids and no use for a daughter, is, I am told, starved for love. When we started to talk, she put her head down and started to cry. I asked if she could sit on my lap. We finished the session with the other girls with Esther stiff on my lap and afraid to look into my eyes. The social worker dismissed the others to let Esther be alone with me. Esther started to talk a little bit then started to cry more. I held her. After about a half an hour, she tried to go back to have lunch and be with her friends, but couldn’t stop crying so she was brought back to me. We sat together, her sobbing into my chest for the better part of two hours.

In the afternoon I did a session with some boys. They told me their stories with their big gorgeous eyes, terrified, shy faces and noble spirits. You would barely believe what these boys experience. Toward the end I asked them if they had questions for me. They had a lot of questions about my life. Their favorite part of my story was seeing pictures of my daughter, Arlene, that I had on my camera, seeing her lifting weights at the USA Weighlifting Nationals that took place just two weeks ago, and seeing her name on the T-shirt I happened to be wearing. They thought that was too great. I asked them what they want to be. Doctor, pilot, and driver, they said.

Fourth, there are 30 people on this trip and each one has stories to tell from this day today that are priceless to hear.

3 Responses to “Kabira, 3rd day”

  1. ljcollins Says:

    Tayria, I am loving these posts. I feel that you are exactly, exactly where you are meant to be on earth at this moment and that these few days will shape the rest of your days somehow, in the infinite Grace that holds us all. I can’t wait to see you once you are home.

  2. Nancy Whitlow Says:

    You are such a blessing to the people whose lives you are touching. You have probably changed the life of that little girl who cried.

  3. Nancy Whitlow Says:

    Maybe all those 30 people could write their stories, too and it could be printed somehow, either on the blog or in print. I, for one, would love to read the stories.

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